Isle of Hope firefighter dies attempting to stop robbery - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

Isle of Hope firefighter dies attempting to stop robbery

Wesley Franklin (Source: Facebook) Wesley Franklin (Source: Facebook)

A search continues for a suspect after a 21-year-old firefighter dies trying to stop an early-morning armed robbery.

The assistant fire chief of the Isle of Hope Fire Dept. said Wesley Franklin died from a gunshot wound he received while disrupting an attempted robbery outside a local pub in Sandfly.

It happened around 2 a.m. outside of Deb's Pub & Grub on Norwood Avenue off of Skidaway Avenue.

"A couple patrons at the bar behind me came walking outside on a smoke break and they were approached by a black male with a gun who demanded money, when they hesitated, he fired a shot and another patron of the bar came out and said something to the man and a shot rang out and the man was shot in the chest," said SCMPD Public Information Officer Julian Miller.

Franklin was taken to Memorial University Medical Center, but he died while in surgery.

Hours later outside of the Isle of Hope fire station, which is a mile from where a fatal shooting happened, a flag waves at half staff for a fallen brother.

"The fire service is a brotherhood, whether it's paid or volunteer," said Isle of Hope Asst. Fire Chief Marcus Wilson. "The whole city is suffering us and Thunderbolt as well."

Friends described the deadly scene.

"Wesley and Bo were coming out the door and they witnessed two people being mugged the next thing they knew, Wesley was shot and everything rolled down hill from there," said Jason Thompson.

Friends and co-workers say Wesley was a dedicated firefighter, who truly cared about his community.

"He was a great guy," said Thompson. "He could always light up a room. He had a lot a good friends and family that will miss him greatly."

Friends said its sad that doing the right thing, is what cost him his life.

"It is really shocking to us, because Wesley was such a great kid," said Wilson. "He was young 21 years old. He had an aspiring career. He has been with the fire service since he was 14 years old. He has been with Isle of Hope since 2011."

Thompson said it has been and his family is having a hard time.

"It is hard on all of us. Wesley was close to a lot of people," Thompson said. "He was always a great guy. He always did the right thing. He was a true guy. It's shame this would happen to him."

The suspect is still at large. Anyone with information can call CrimeStoppers at 912.234.2020.

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